Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Philippine passport application: the dirty details

On July 11, 2013, Zac, his nanny, and I went to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Megamall Consular Affairs located at the 7th Floor, Megamall Building C, EDSA corner J. Vargas Avenue, Mandaluyong City for the kid's passport application. Zac was 14 months old then, so an appointment was necessary. A confirmed appointment is not necessary for when the applicant is a Senior Citizen, an infant or a minor below one year old, a Person with Disability (PWD), or an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW). Being a satellite office, the only transactions accepted are applications for new, and renewal of, Philippine passports. The other satellite offices are: a) DFA Manila, 5th Floor, Concepcion Street corner Aroceros and San Marcelino, Manila City; and b) DFA Galleria, Lingkod Pinoy Center, Level 1 West Lane, Robinson's Galleria, EDSA cor. Ortigas Avenue, Pasig City. 

Anyway, I set an appointment for Zac's passport application via the satellite office site. I suggest you choose a Saturday. The earliest time is at 10 in the morning, the latest, 6 in the evening. Although appointment on Saturday is considered "express processing' and one will be charged the express processing fee of Php1,200.00, I honestly think it'll be worth it as one doesn't have to wait too long. Considering that the dad and I aren't married, but he acknowledged Zac as his child, these were the documents I prepared for the kid's application: a) his original Certificate of Live Birth from the National Statistics Office (NSO), with the Affidavit of Acknowledgement and Consent to use Surname at the back signed by him and notarized; b) photocopy of my Philippine passport; c) an Affidavit of Support/Consent to Travel executed by me. It is important that the mother accompany the illegitimate child for his passport application because under the law, children born out of wedlock are under the mother's custody. Attach these documents to the completely filled-up appointment form from the DFA. You may download the form from their site. You may also opt to have the passport delivered for a fee of Php120.00. After setting an appointment online, a confirmation link will be sent to your email. Click on the link within 24 hours to finalize the appointment. Should you fail to confirm within 24 hours, your appointment will be cancelled. Clicking on the confirmation link will also provide you the link for printing your application form. Have this, including all your documents, photocopied.

Zac's time was at 10.30 in the morning. We were there 30 minutes before. A number will be given to you upon entry. Wait for your number to flash on the screen. As soon as your number is flashed on the screen, proceed to your designated counter, and submit your documentary requirements for approval. Once approved, you will be directed to proceed to the cashier for payment of the processing fee. After payment, you will be asked to proceed to the Encoding Section for your picture. Everything was going smoothly for Zac until this point. He didn't want to stay-put and kept on grabbing the officer's pen. Three shots later, the officer was able to capture a decent photo of the kid. Before checking out, make sure that all data encoded on the computer are correct. You may now proceed to the Delivery Section for the payment of the delivery fee. 

Zac's passport was delivered to our doorstep six days later. 

I'm ready to book the kid his flights.